A new poll found that most Americans believe a woman should be able to get a late-term abortion if they are infected with the Zika virus, although Americans oppose the method in normal circumstances.
Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed believe a woman should have access to a legal abortion after 24 weeks if she has Zika and there is a serious possibility the baby would be born with the birth defect microcephaly, according to the poll released Friday from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and STAT news service.
When asked about late-term abortion in general, only 23 percent of respondents believe that it should be legal after 24 weeks, the poll said.
Currently, 22 states ban abortions after a certain time period. About 15 of those states ban abortion at 22 weeks, according to the pro-choice think tank Guttmacher Institute.
Another 19 states impose prohibitions at fetal viability and three prohibit abortion in the third trimester, the institute added.
Six states ban abortion at 24 weeks at the beginning of the pregnancy from the woman's last menstrual period.
The results come as the Zika virus has been found spreading via mosquito bites in the Miami neighborhood of Wynwood. Fifteen cases have been discovered there.
The virus causes a mild illness in most people, but it can cause the birth defect microcephaly in which babies are born with underdeveloped brains and abnormally small heads. It also has been linked to a neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome.
The poll also found that less than half of the public (44 percent) were aware that Congress adjourned last month without approving funding to fight Zika.
Among that group, about 55 percent said that not passing funding is a problem and 25 percent say it is a "very serious" problem, the poll said.
Last month the House passed a $1.1 billion funding package, but it stalled in the Senate due to Democratic objections. Those include taking money from Obamacare programs and not funding Planned Parenthood clinics in Puerto Rico.
The White House and congressional Democrats are clamoring for Congress to return early from its seven-week recess to approve Zika funding. Senate Republican leadership has said it is open to doing so, if Democrats drop objections to the $1.1 billion package.
That package is less than the $1.9 billion that President Obama asked for in February.
The poll comprised of 1,010 people and has a margin of error at 3.62 percent.